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Star Citizen News | The Future of Development

Welcome to some more Star Citizen News, there is a lot here this week focusing on Feature & Development Updates, Alpha 3.7, SSOCS, 3.6.2 LIVE & More.

Alpha 3.6.2 is now LIVE the patch adds the mighty 890 Jump.

They have tweaked landing pad sizes & added two more XL hangars to Lorville and Area18 to accommodate the 890 and Reclaimer. These are the only places you can currently spawn those ships.

Neutron & Attrition Weapons no longer incorrectly penetrate shields.

There have been various optimization improvements too.

With the updated plans for Releases & Roadmaps we may see a lot less from minor and interim patches and more meaty major patches.

The 890 Jump is on Sale in limited numbers from $890 – 950 in both warbond and credit versions of the ship both have 72 month insurance. They actually sold out yesterday and this appears to be a 2nd batch of the ship. I do love the 890 Jump BUT it’s certainly one I think that is far too much money and is worth grabbing in game rather than with a couple of months IRL rent xD

What’s that yes I do have one! And I’ll be doing a few 890 Jump Parties this week, my handle is UberMonkey and feel free to join my discord (where I’ll announce some times) and drop your handle here or there so I can add you for invites!

The next Major Patch is Alpha 3.7 planned for LIVE at the end of this month September.

Feature wise Rocky Caves & the Kronig FL-33 Laser Cannon have seen big progress & Personal Commodity Inventory is complete.

More disappointingly, Bounty Hunter Armor from 3.7 has been moved to 3.9.

Salvage & Security Systems have been rescheduled from 3.8 as well as Multicrew Expanded Pilot & Gunner Role Features from 3.9 and all moved to 4.0 the Q2 2020 patch. 

CIG have actually started releasing a Roadmap Round up as well that is meant to give us more info, insight and transparency in future I’ll merge this with my style BUT I’ll read what CIG posted here in full:

“Every week, we update the Public Roadmap, moving, adding, or removing cards. There is very little context given, and the community is then forced to take that limited information  and speculate on what it all means.

Over time, we’ve come to recognize that as a primary method of communicating our open development strategy, the Public Roadmap isn’t fully realized. What’s missing is a brief, explanatory note accompanying each Roadmap update with insights into the decision-making that led to those moves, additions, and deletions. So, we’ve decided to add a weekly note that accompanies each roadmap update. This meets our primary goal of offering a transparent look at our development. A secondary benefit, and one we think you’ll like, is that the community will get to hear directly from us more often about what’s going on in development and why. The net result is that our communications should be more transparent,

 more specific, and more insightful  with all of you who help to make Star Citizen  and Squadron 42  possible. 

What this means for you: 

1.  More Transparency – We’re going to accompany every Roadmap Publish with a form of written communication that we feel will better  represent our roadmap updates and, more importantly, communicate with you  any  changes being made and why  we are making them. 

2. More  Information – We want to update you more often, with more voices, from more developers. As we mentioned and demonstrated with our recent Staggered Development FAQ, we have been actively brainstorming several ways that we feel can do even more in terms of communicating and keeping you all in the loop with our progress. This Roadmap communication is just one piece of that puzzle. 

Notable Changes this week  for September 6th, 2019

Salvage – We project  Salvage to be a full “two-quarter task,” similar to the development of the initial release of Mining.  After carefully evaluating all factors, we made the decision to push Salvage back two quarters to make room for both FPS Mining  and  Refueling.  

First, for the release of 3.7,  it didn’t make sense to implement caves without gameplay, so we tasked the team on Salvage with creating the FPS Mining and Quantum Fuel Mining. 

Second, we’ve made the decision to  re-task the  team focused on Salvage in the quarters to come with closing out a full  refueling game loop, which will include Fuel Harvesting and Quantum Fuel Harvesting. These will both be added to the Public Roadmap soon. Once completed, the team will then move on to focus on Salvage. 

Security System – The security system controls who has access to areas and objects based on various factors such as reputation, ownership, keycards, and faction. It will automatically issue warnings to people breaking the law and, if ignored, will flag them as criminals to security forces.  

This is  a feature-set  that we’re looking forward to continuing to develop, but  have made the decision to pull off the Public Roadmap  while we re-prioritize and determine when we want to focus more heavily on its  development. This decision was made for a number of reasons, namely to re-allocate development resources to the following: 

  • Social AI: All non-combat AI and behaviors, such as bartenders, shopkeepers, tourists, security, vagrants, and more. 
  • Prison Gameplay: Delivering Caves and FPS Mining in 3.7 allows us to move on to another feature: Prisons. We’ll create  prison environments  by mixing and matching  procedurally developed caves with bespoke entrances and hubs attached, to deliver Prison gameplay  loops.  
  • Law System Improvements: After specific infractions and capture by authorities, criminal players will wake up  in  prison, and must either serve time, earn merits, or find a way to escape the prison with or without the aid of fellow players. We’re currently working on this feature-set, but aren’t quite ready to put it on the Roadmap just yet.  
  • In-Game Orgs  &  Reputation Systems: In real life, if you join a membership club, you might get some benefits attached – think discounts at certain merchants, free or discounted roadside assistance, etc. This feature-set will be tied to elements of the existing reputation system and introduce gameplay and in-game benefits  related  to  being  a part of specific  in-game organizations.  More details to come (we’re going to wrangle Tony Z for this one). 
  • Some unannounced features (see you at CitizenCon.)

The Bounty Hunter Armor Set was originally planned for 3.7 but has been re-prioritized to align the asset release alongside the Bounty Hunting gameplay (Bounty Mission NPC Improvements & PVP Bounties) coming in 3.9.”

I really like the idea of CIG doing that HOWEVER I do think it would work as part of ISC as well.

Star Citizen Live – All About Development had a good amount of info on SSOCS & short to medium term development of the game.

SSOCS has been worked on over the past year building it’s core tech.

Objects in OC’s can be Static or Dynamic, meaning some will be saved to be streamed in and out and others won’t. For SSOCS to work the backend services need to be able to communicate with the client and server quickly.

When they migrate over the SSOCS there are going to be bugs and they are making their code as robust as possible for this.

Staggered Development should see them hit release dates for LIVE more readily. They are more likely to cull features and push them to the next release as well if they are not ready rather than hold a patch or have interim patches.

Components of SSOCS & Persistence can be decoupled and released separately or in step.

They could potentially have you progressing with no resets without having full persistence properly in, they could just save your aUEC and aUEC Purchases and ship changes between patches. 

And by the sounds of it they could also potentially save a players location between servers in case of a crash or logout, so you’d login in the exact location you were when you disconnected.

Eventually the game will remember where you placed items between sessions and patches.

This could mean that they are able to get Planet microTech in game with partial implementation of these features or even other related optimizations.

Server Meshing is planned BUT SSOCS is required first.

CIG won’t know how effective SSOCS is until it’s in game beyond that it is needed to continue development of the game, it leading to Server Meshing is the most important aspect of it though.

CIG have changed the way they plan Gameplay loops and roles, focusing on the first implementations of what is core to a mechanic and then iterating on that based on feedback to flesh the mechanic out, they have less of a hard plan for the end game of that mechanic.

They plan to keep adding activity sets for each of the roles in game, eventually when there are enough activities and gameplay associated they can be considered an actual role or job in game. 

Some of the bugs that seem to have been persistent through Star Citizen’s Development are being addressed by various means, issues with the HUD & mobiGlas for example are being fixed with a rework of the HUD systems.Typically if something hasn’t been fixed it’s because they have plans to fix it already scheduled as part of a larger task. 

They are planning work on Vulkan integration for the future.

Ship Combat has a dedicated team working on it now.

Locking onto ground turrets will be working in the future.

As Squadron 42 Ep 1 gets closer to completion more of the teams will move over the PU. This will start once they have completed their appropriate work, which for a lot of teams will be before SQ42 ships. Some of these teams will however move straight onto SQ42 Ep 2.

In the Star Citizen Newsletter the week’s Sneak Peek was at a new Space Station Interior Food Court Area.

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This Month’s RSI Subscribers have access to the Masters of Flight Series of Ships, the Sabre Comet, Avenger Titan Renegade, F7C Hornet Wildfire & Gladius Valiant.